Then there were six...
Last Saturday was our final World Food Evening of eight. Two of the group are leaving us at the end of this month and moving to their new property up north in Brittany. (How dare they!)
We decided that the perfect food theme to get them ready would be un petit repas Breton.
The only catch...collectively we knew nothing about Breton cuisine.
Except that they drink cider. And eat a lot of seafood.
A crash course was necessary.
After many hours of exhausting research I came to the conclusion that, although there is a seemingly endless amount of information on the Internet, when it came to finding recipes from Brittany, my collection of French cookbooks proved invaluable.
The first course was a Salade Poul-Fetan, named for a small village in Brittany that is just down the road from their new home.
We followed with luscious Cider Braised Pork Chops with Cream and Mushrooms, a very rich Gratin de Pommes de Terre aux Lardons (Potato Gratin with Bacon) and sweet Honey Glazed Shallots.
It was one of our most delicious evenings yet!
I was a Spire Pear Cider fanatic when I lived in Seattle and was happy to taste the French version with our meal. It was lighter, not as sweet and not as fizzy, and I thought it was great with the creamy pork chops and potato and bacon gratin. The hard apple cider was equally good with our Breton feast.
The Far Breton, a heavy, custard dessert (almost like a Breton clafoutis) that is studded with Armagnac soaked prunes, was my contribution.
This is not a light dessert, and after the heavy meal we had just eaten it was probably a bit over the top. However...two of us had second helpings (I'm not naming names).
For our next meal (an Indian curry) the group will only be the six of us left behind here in the south. Maybe we'll find a new twosome to join us one day. Maybe not.
Or maybe we'll just keep those chairs open for when our friends come back for a visit.
Which we hope will be soon.